While I regularly moan about being given risotto in restaurants as the only vegetarian ‘choice’ at the moment, I do still love making it and eating it at home. I just don’t want to eat it every time I go out – especially when I can make a better version at home!
My uncle made this wonderful chestnut, mushroom and samphire risotto for me recently and it was too good to not put on the blog. Vegetarians don’t get to eat samphire very much as it is often used in fish dishes – but give it a go. Samphire has a wonderful salty flavour, so be careful when seasoning this dish.
It’s chestnut season at the moment so don’t buy them, get out there and collect some from your local park.
300g fresh chestnuts (peeled)
1 large leek (or 1 large white onion)
1 garlic cloves
200g chestnut mushrooms
350g risotto rice
A pinch of chilli flakes
1 litre vegetable stock
1tbsp fresh sage
Salt and pepper
75g vegetarian parmesan
In a pan, heat some olive oil to a low-ish heat and add the chestnuts. Lightly fry them with some pepper until they are slightly soft. This will take about 30 minutes.
Slice the leek and garlic and fry them in a large frying pan – a paella pan is perfect. When they have softened, add the mushrooms and cook for about five minutes. Add the rice, chilli flakes, chestnuts and season well. Slowly start incorporating the stock. After about 15 minutes, add the samphire and chopped sage and give it a good stir. Sprinkle the cheese on top and leave it for five minutes so the cheese has melted.
Place the pan on the table and let everyone help themselves.